The Replacement, by Brenna Yovenoff, is an old-fashioned, eerie tale of what lives in the depths of the night. She brings to life the age-old tale of children being stolen from their cribs by creatures unknown to human kind. Brenna adds a twist to her tale with the use of her protagonist, Mackie, who is a "replacement"- one of the ghoulish children who was left in the place of a stolen human child. Mackie is forced back into the world he originally inhabited when the baby girl of a local family goes missing, and the creature left in her wake dies. He is forced to acknowledge the fact that he is not human, and is sucked into the murky depths of these ghouls. Once there, Mackie is forced to confront his "kinds" past, and manoeuvre his way around this new world. He makes deals, steals, lies, and sacrifices himself for the safety and preservation of his town.
Brenna Yovenoff creates a fantastical world of ghouls, goblins, and creatures that lurk in the night. Yet she creates them in a world quite recognizable to our own. The second most haunting aspect of this story besides the grotesque creatures who enter stealthily into the homes of families and steal their children away, is the fact that the towns people ignore what happens to their children. The turn a blind eye and pretend that the "thing" left in the place of their baby is indeed theirs. And when the creature dies, they bury it in the cemetery with their child's name on the tombstone.
This novel is a perfect for the Halloween season, or for Teens who enjoy a little mischief and adventure. Brenna Yovenoff's writing style keeps the readers hooked on the thoughts and actions of Mackie. The dialogue between her characters flips between comedic responses to brooding accusations. Overall, this is a fantastic book for anyone who enjoys reading about or who believes that there are creatures that go "bump in the night".